Prayut urged to act on gold mine

Date of Release: 
Jan 20 2015

PEOPLE LIVING near a gold mine in the central north are calling for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to urgently intervene after hundreds of villagers were found to have heavy-metal contamination.

Wunpen Promrungsun yesterday submitted a petition to Prayut yesterday on behalf of those affected by the Akara Resources gold mine.

The petition calls for Prayut to order the Central Institute of Forensic Science (CIFS) and Rangsit University to jointly conduct tests on local people in three provinces who fear they have been affected - Phichit, Phitsanulok and Phetchabun.


Thailand shuts down Australian gold mine over health fears

Date of Release: 
Jan 14 2015

Thai authorities have ordered the suspension for 30 days of an Australian gold mine in northern Thailand amid concerns over the health of thousands of villagers living nearby.

Random urine and blood tests showed above-standard arsenic and manganese levels in villagers near Kingsgate Consolidated's Chatree gold mine 280 kilometres north of Bangkok, according to Porntip Rojanasunan, director-general of the Justice Ministry's Central Institute of Forensic Science.

An order from the institute says "we are of the opinion the mining might have affected the health of villagers."


Opinion: Pillaging of resources shows depth of Thai political rot

Date of Release: 
May 23 2014

If Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha had declared martial law a few days earlier, the rogue soldier who led an armed gang to attack the villagers of Ban Na Nong Bong might have had second thoughts.

At first glance, the incident at the village in Loei province might have no bearing on what is happening hundreds of kilometres away in Bangkok. But in fact it presents a good case study for the urgent need for national reform.


Phichit residents accuse gold mine over chemical leaks

Date of Release: 
May 17 2014

Residents in Phichit's Tab Khlor district yesterday lodged a complaint with police accusing a goldmine operation of discharging chemical leaks that have sickened them for many years.

The leader of the group, Suekanya Theerachartdamrong, said an initial diagnosis by university academics had found that residents had been sickened by leaks of arsenic and manganese, which are carcinogenic and caused them rashes, muscle weakness and cancers in certain cases.


Villagers near gold mine seek police help

Date of Release: 
Sep 23 2013

"We demand that police bring the perpetrators to justice," the residents said in a statement.

The villagers, calling themselves the Love Homeland Group, said in the statement that the firm, which has been in the area since 2006, had its mining operation suspended due to its adverse impact on the environment and the potentially fatal health hazard it posed to villagers.

Since the firm entered the area, villagers have also been pitted against one another, and have even taken their dispute to court, the statement said.


PNG makes BHP liable for environmental damage from mine

Date of Release: 
Sep 19 2013

Papua New Guinea's government wrested full control of the controversial Ok Tedi copper and gold mine and quashed former owner BHP Billiton's legal immunity for environmental damage, officials said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Peter O'Neill moved late Wednesday to give the government 100 per cent ownership of Ok Tedi, which was involved in a major waterways pollution scandal in the 1990s.


Thailand: PCD needs time to restore affected villages

Date of Release: 
Sep 11 2013

PCD's measures to rehabilitate the cadmium-affected villages would cost Bt438 million.

Its appeal to the Supreme Administrative Court follows a decision by the Phitsanulok Administra-tive Court last month ordering the National Environmental Board (NEB) and PCD to declare the Mae Tao River Basin as an environmentally protected area within 90 days.

PCD director-general, Wichien Jungrungruang, said his department could not work within this period to designate the cadmium-affected villages as environmentally protected zones because many procedures were required for the zone designation.


Australia: No full environmental impact study needed on BHP Billiton's rejigged Olympic Dam expansion plan, says Premier

Date of Release: 
Nov 14 2012

The alternative technologies now being investigated by BHP had "always been contemplated", Mr Weatherill said.

While there still would be hundreds of individual approvals required as BHP Billiton finalised its reconfigured plan, existing approvals - extended yesterday to 2016 - covered the changes.

"The overarching principle is this - this expansion will operate in accordance with the highest environmental standards supervised by an independent Environment Protection Authority," he said.

Mr Weatherill was speaking at Wingfield mineral processing laboratory Bureau Veritas Amdel.


Papua New Guinea: Review claims 'poor science' in deep-sea mining report

Date of Release: 
Nov 9 2012

A debate has erupted over the scientific validity of the environmental impact statement (EIS) of the world's first deep-sea mine, located off the coast of Papua New Guinea (PNG).

The furore may push the PNG government to convene a further roundtable meeting for experts, before the mine becomes operational next year.


Bangaldesh: Experts okay open pit mining

Date of Release: 
Oct 22 2012

A committee of experts, formed by the government, yesterday submitted its report on suitable coal mining method in Bangladesh to the energy and mineral resources ministry, suggesting open pit mining in Phulbari coal deposit as a practical approach.

The 17-member committee, headed by former Petrobangla chairman Mosharraf Hossain, also suggested undertaking a small open pit mine project in the untapped northern part of Bangladesh's lone coal mine in Barapukuria.

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